$100M in 100 Days: eBay's Goal for Humanitarian Aid

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Retailers, manufacturers and consumers are responding to an appeal by eBay.com to donate products to Auction for America, an ambitious plan to raise $100 million in 100 days for victims, their families and communities affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


Early corporate sign-ups include The Bombay Co., Omaha Steaks, West Marine, Palm, JC Whitney, Outlet Computer, MovieGoods, BargainBuilder, EconoZone, ABT Electronics and Restaurant.com.


"The response from the eBay community has been fantastic," said Kevin Pursglove, spokesman for eBay, San Jose, CA. "Many sellers are donating items for the Auction for America, and bidders are indicating their willingness to bid on items for a worthy cause.


"We now have about 12,000 items listed [though] this doesn't include the merchandise sold," he said. "But it is too early to offer any financial data."


Proceeds from the auctions of these retailers' products will support nine to 11 charities, including the September 11th Fund, established by United Way and The New York Community Trust. The eBay Foundation is donating the first $1 million to the effort.


ChannelAdvisor, Morrisville, NC, is helping eBay with this program. First, it establishes the retailer as a seller on eBay. Next, it creates an Auction for America brand package for the company. This includes an ad template, information page and a checkout process.


Third, ChannelAdvisor prepares and posts an unlimited number of product SKUs. The retailer simply puts products into a spreadsheet for the auction. Finally, ChannelAdvisor will handle marketplace management services, including customer services.


As bidders buy the products, ChannelAdvisor will let the retailer know the ship-to information.


"We are waiving all fees for our marketplace management services to assist retailers and manufacturers in selling items through the Auction for America," said Scot Wingo, president/CEO of ChannelAdvisor. "We are helping companies post auctions for free."


Also, eBay is waiving listing and final value fees. It will make no profit from the Auction on America listings. In addition, Billpoint, eBay's online payment service, with the support of Visa, MasterCard, Wells Fargo, First Data and Discover Card, will waive fees, including standard credit card processing fees.


"We hope that every American will buy an item and sell an item on eBay in support of this cause," Pursglove said.


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